Best Microsoft Office tips and tricks of 2011

As I look back at 2011, it occurs to me that some subjects warrant a second look. Here, for example, are some of our best tips and tricks that can help you use Microsoft Office dramatically better. Check out these posts from 2011 -- they'll poise you for success in 2012.

Microsoft SkyDrive: How to collaborate on documents in real-time

One of the things I've always appreciated about Google Docs is the way two or more people can co-author the same document at the same time. Thanks to this recent update from Microsoft, you can do the same thing now with your trusted Office suite.

Master Word and Excel with handy step-by-step videos

How well do you know Word and Excel? These programs aren't just the most common tools in the Office suite, they're the all-around workhorses in your office. That's why you should try these 30 tutorial videos that'll get you up to speed on the most essential of Office tools.

Essential Microsoft Word: The navigation pane

Word is brimming with features. So brimming, in fact, that Microsoft completely replaced the overloaded menu system with the new ribbon interface to make less common features more discoverable. Even so, there are more capabilities under the hood than most people can keep track of. If you're a Word power user, here is a feature you definitely want to know about.

Essential Microsoft Excel: Format elegant spreadsheets without formulas

Unless you were a math whiz in college, you probably have no great love for Excel. Manipulating Excel formulas can be challenging, but the payoff can be worth it. But did you know that you can get Excel to identify important values -- like the top ten numbers in a list, values that are greater than certain threshold, or numbers that are below the average -- automatically? Here's how.

Jazz up PowerPoint with 165 professionally designed templates

Most doctors prescribe PowerPoint presentations as a sleeping aid. It's not necessarily the presenter's fault; PowerPoint comes with a small assortment of boring templates, so after you see about a dozen decks, they all look the same. Here's your antidote.

Dave Johnson was employed by Microsoft Corporation at the time this article was written.

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